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Mammoth List of Kids Activities in October: The Secret List

Home > Perth > Family | Lists | School Holiday Activities | School Holidays
by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
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Is this the Biggest List Ever?
It's school holidays again.

It feels like it was holidays only a few weeks ago? No matter, the Secret List has plenty of fun, different and unusual things to do with your kids at home, and out and about. There is something for every family, no matter how old your kids are, where you live, and how much you have to spend.

Why is it a secret? Because if you kids find out about all the things on this list: they will beg you to do everything on it.

Take your kids along to the new park in Subi

Grand Opening of a New Playground
The official opening of the brilliant new playspace at the Theatre Gardens in Subiaco isn't just about playing in the park. Although, that would be the primary purpose. There will be a range of free activities including origami, free entertainment from the Barking Gecko Theatre Company, and cubby building (and a speech from the Mayor). All families welcome.

When: Wednesday 1st October, 11am-1pm
Where: Theatre Gardens, Bagot Road, Subiaco
Cost: free
Click for more info

The Show is in town

The Biggest of all the Shows
It's hardly a secret but the Royal Show is in Town. Hitting Claremont for the first week of the school holidays, the start of October could well be spent investigating machinery, riding the dodgems, patting a bunny and eating lots of sugar. It's not the cheapest event, even with the government letting kids under 12 in for free, but here is a link to a great article that will help you manage your Royal Show budget. And if you're interested in taking great photos at this year's show, click here for some ideas.

When: Finishes Saturday 4th October
Where: Claremont Showgrounds
Cost: adults from $24, children under 12 FREE, students $13
Click for more information

Itty Bitty City
All kids aged between 3 and 10 are welcome to add their contribution to a growing city within a city, and to paint, draw and build their own house or building. For kids, it's a chance to get their hands dirty (probably literally) and involved in the creative process, while parents can sit back and wonder why they bothered spending $100 on the latest electronic toy now sitting idle at home. Watch the cardboard city grow during the school holidays.

When: Monday 29th September to Saturday 11th October, 10am-2pm
Where: Murray Street Mall, Perth CBD
Cost: free
Click for more info

Ticket to Fun
Every school holidays the City Playground Pass proves popular with kids of all ages as they enjoy free activities and events while parents enjoy discounts on food and parking. Pick up a pass at certain locations within the city, and plan your day to take full advantage of all the offers. Who said you needed to spend the big bucks for a full day out?

When: Monday 29th September to Saturday 11th October, 10am-2pm
Where: Murray Street Mall, Perth CBD
Cost: free
Click for more info.

Get Your Gypsy On
My kids are a big fan of circuses so I was excited to hear there is a new one in town these holidays, The Gypsy Circus will be playing over the holidays at the Joondalup Arena, and it promises high flying gymnasts, juggling, and animal acts. The show lasts for about an hour, and there will be circus-y type treats, games and showbags available as well.

When: Saturday 4th October to Sunday 12th October 2014
Where: HBF Arena, Joondalup
Cost: tickets start are approx. $18 each
Click for more info.

Explore the city, before it changes again

Perth Just Wants to be Loved
When a city has its own advertising campaign about how you really need to start visiting, you have to feel sorry for it. Perth just wants us to love it. So ignore the building sites on every second street and grab the kids during the school holidays, and catch a train, bus or ferry and explore our own little city.

Click here for a great article on some cool activities for kids in the city during school holidays.

When: school holidays
Where: those tall buildings next to the river

A Night at the Flicks
Attention all movie lovers. The 2013/2014 season of Free Flicks for Kids at the Northbridge Piazza starts this Saturday at 5.30pm. Running every Saturday until May, this is a wonderful FREE night for families to share a picnic and watch a great feature film together. Bring a blanket, bring some snacks and enjoy the Piazza beanbags. Films this season include Muppets Most Wanted, The Lego Movie, Lilo and Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon. No bookings required, just turn up.

When: every Saturday from 4th October, 5.30pm (the Oct 25th session starts at 4.30pm)
Where: Northbridge Piazza, corner of James and Lake Streets, Northbridge
Cost: Free
Click for more info.

We write letters to the fairies and post them in this mushroom

Teach the Kids to Write a Letter
Step 1: Find a piece of paper that doesn't have a sudoku printed on it
Step 2: Find a pen or biro. Now go find one that actually works
Step 3. Herd the kids to the kitchen table and tie them to a chair
Step 4: Place paper and pen in front of them
Step 5: Make them write a letter to their grandparents, or a fan letter to the creator of Lego, or a letter of complaint to the Fun Police.
Step 6: Tell them to get rid of all the LOLs and ROTFLs. Make them use actual words and punctuation.
Step 7: Find an envelope, and even harder: a stamp. Click here if your kids have no idea what a stamp is.
Step 8: Take them to the Post Office and post their letter because today is World Post Day. Remind kids that in the 'old days' we had to wait days or even weeks for information to arrive in the mail. Our birthday greetings came in coloured cards in the mail and not as a Facebook Greeting. I'm beginning to sound like my Grandma.

When: Thursday 9th October
Where: everywhere
Click for more info

Big Dog Day Out
For two and four legged friends alike, the Whiteman Park Doggie Day Out is a fun day for the whole family. There are stalls and pet products available as well as grooming and baths (for the pooches not the kids). Best to keep everyone on a lead unless in the dog park. Including the kids. Especially the kids.

When: Sunday 12th October, 10am-2pm
Where: Village West, opposite main playground, Whiteman Park
Cost: free
Click for more info

Teach Kids About Safety (with Free Face Painting)
OK, so trying to teach kids about safety can be as much fun as scraping dried weetbix off the tiles, but when combined with kid-proof activities like petting zoos and face painting, kids can get excited about injury prevention. There will be a free puppet show at 11am and stalls from a range of safety groups such as Royal Life Saving and Kidsafe.

When: Saturday 18th October, 10am-2pm
Where: Karrinyup Shopping Centre Forecourt
Cost: free
Click for more info

You don't even need to get off the couch

Stay home
School holidays can be a real drag, especially when the weather is shocking and you spent all your money at the Royal Show. Can't afford to go out? How are you supposed to entertain the kids? Fret not, here is a guide to amusing the kids and you don't even need to get off the couch.

When: all school holidays
Where: your place

Awesome Dude!
With another mind-blowing line-up, the Awesome Festival for 'bright young things', is an extraordinary family event that runs over the school holidays. There is a smorgasbord of theatre, dance, music, sculpture, arts and animation and you may discover the next Stan Lee, Shaun Tan or Paul Mercurio in your very own family! Click here for a detailed article about the range of events.

When: Saturday 4th to Friday 17th October
Where: Perth Cultural Centre
Cost: Free and ticketed events, check website for more details
Click for more info

A Day in the Park
The Go for 2&5 Family Fun Day is the official opening event for Children's Week, and is a Big Day Out, kiddie style. If you're not a fan of big crowds (last year's event attracted 12,000 people) maybe this isn't the event for you but you must admit, it must be an amazing event to draw that many families. The Family Fun Day has all day entertainment, drumming, craft, fairies, animals, trampolines, games, mini golf, gymnastics, bubbles and music for the kids and a Parenting Expo for mum and dad.

When: Sunday 19th October
Where: Whiteman Park, entry from Lord St/Beechboro Rd
Click for more info

We love and appreciate our grandparents

Good on ya Grandma
As a child, having sleepovers at Nanna's house was a highlight of my school holidays. I imagine my parents felt the same way.
It's time to celebrate the more mature members of our families.

Get the kids together and plan a special day for their Grandparents: make them breakfast, plan a picnic, let the oldies get the old photo albums out, head to the beach, bake them a cake, give them a hug. Encourage the kids to ask their grandparents questions and make them listen to their stories, and them get them to stay for a sleepover. Yay, Grandma!

When: Sunday 26th October
Click for more info

It's a big weekend for fetes and fairs

We're in Wembley
The kids are back at school by now, so it's time to say thank you by taking them to the Wembley Downs District Fair. Getting bigger and better every year, this is a mini Royal Show for those who can't be bothered with big one. There are side show rides, a petting zoo, plenty of craft stalls, second hand stalls, music and all day entertainment and so much more.

When: Saturday 25th October, 8.30am-3pm
Where: Luita Street Reserve, Wembley Downs
Cost: free
Click for more info

Fair Go!
Getting the kids involved in Christmas is a simple matter of physics, politics and logistics. You want them to behave, they want great toys, and you need someone to carry your shopping. Combine these three things and you have the Subiaco Craft Fair.

Held at the University of WA this great Fair has over 150 stalls selling a huge range of goodies. Maybe you can get all your shopping done in one go. If you prefer to shop in peace, there is a free kids' corner set up in the undercroft where kids can make some crafts of their own or get their face painted.

When: Sunday 26th October, 9am-4pm
Where: Oak Lawn, University of Western Australia (Crawley)
Cost: $5 entry, kids under 12 free, free parking
Click for more info

Halloween is a time of pumpkins (and lollies)

Hello Halloween
Finally, Halloween falls on a Friday! This means all the older kids and adults will be getting into the spirit of thing. I know, it's an American tradition, yada yada, but everyone loves seeing their kids dressing up as bumblebees and scary witches and even better stuffing the neighbourhood kids full of sugar!

If you're the brave type, you can take the kids trick-or-treating or have an after-school Halloween Party. Otherwise bake an enormous pile of cookies or cupcakes and stick green or red jelly frogs on top, and sit by the door wearing your best Edward Scissorhands outfit waiting for kids to knock on the door.

Carve a pumpkin and use it to make pumpkin soup and give it to the kids who don't say 'please' nicely.

When: Friday 31st October
Click for Halloween craft ideas
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Why? October is one of the biggest and best months of the year
When: October 2014
Where: Across Perth
Cost: Events vary
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